Has the US government ever, in recent history, confiscated any guns.

On one of the many gun forums around, some one argued that gun registration leads to confiscation, then he pointed out that in both CA and NY, the state governments used registration info to confiscate guns. When I asked me for a source, he gave me this:

Now, I am leary of any info that comes from Newsmax, and when I google this, I mostly get fringe NRA sites which I don’t really trust either.

Can someone set me straight on the facts?

It is a fallacy to assume that because some other source has omitted information that another source has included, that the information (for that reason alone) must be suspect. In the recent Riordan thing, for example, CNN did not originally report the back story about civil rights leaders jumping in to help the girl only to back out after discovering she was white. Using your present reasoning, you might have concluded that because Fox reported it but CNN did not, it was not true. And that is especially the case in politically charged issues where sites are naturally going to edit stories in favor of their own biases. But that doesn’t mean they’re lying, except by omission or spin. Few issues are more politically charged than gun control. Therefore, wherever people think that confiscation of guns is an atrocity or tyranny, they are more likely to report it, whereas people who couldn’t care less won’t give it any thought. For example, on the marriage ammendment, CNN is treating it as a story about a defeat for Bush and Cheney, while Fox News is treating is as a story about Kerry and Edwards missing the vote. (They campaigned in Iowa rather than attending the Senate vote.) That’s all just the nature of the thing. Meanwhile, sites like this one document what they’re talking about, so that you can, for example, verify whether they are telling the truth by examining records from the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 1993.

I do not believe the federal government, or any state or local government, has ever gone door-to-door in an attempt to confiscate weapons. But I believe the California state government did use registration papers to send notices to owners of assault rifles, telling them to “turn them in.”

Rifles, pistols, shotguns & explosives were confiscated from Japanese-Americans in Hawaii after Pearl Harbour. 1942.

I registered three AR-15s in California. (And since someone is bound to as, “Why td you need three AR-15s?” it is because they are all different – a 1979 “classic” Colt Sporter, a CAR-15A2, and an -A2 rifle.) I never received any sort of letter telling me to “turn them in”. The only correspondence I received was a letter telling me that they were registered, and to carry the letter with me whenever the firearms left my apartment.

I do think, although I don’t have a cite, that unregistered firearms that fell under the law have been confiscated when they were found; but no one is going “door to door”.

I was waiting to see if you saw this thread, Johnny, since IIRC you were in state during the banning. Could you enlighten us as to how the ban was enacted and what registered owners had to do? Or point us to a link. I’ve had the same opinion as C-man, so what’s the straight dope?

I don’t have a cite for this, but here’s how I remember the CA registration events. A law was passed requiring all assault weapons to be registered. The law included a date by which they all had to be registered. Any a.w. not registered by this date would then be illegal and subject to confiscation if found, and criminal charges could be brought against the owner. As the deadline approached, the Attorney General (or someone) issued a statement that the deadline would be extended by some months. Afterwards, some anti-gun organization challenged the extension in court, and won - the courts held that the AG (or whoever did it) had no authority to extend the deadline, so anyone who registered after the original deadline was now in violation of the law - they now owned an unregistered assault weapon. These people, and these people only, were sent letters telling them they now owned an unregistered a.w., and had to turn them in - though they were graciously allowed by the courts to not have to face criminal charges since they thought they were doing the right thing. So Johnny L.A, if you registered yours by the original deadline, nothing would have happened to you. I have no idea if the police started visiting those people caught in the middle and requiring them to turn over their a.w.'s

muldoonthief’s recollection is better than mine, so I’d say his explanation is probably accurate.

There were actually three rounds of registration, IIRC. I registered the Colt the first time, before the deadline because I held a security clearance and wanted to make sure I was covered. Before Round Two, which added guns to the list of prohibited firearms, I registered the other two. This caused a small problem because the AR-15A2 is a “Bushmaster”. A “Bushmaster” was on the original list, but they were clearly talking about the bullpup “arm gun” that had originally been developed for the Air Force. I had to write a letter stating that the “Bushmaster” was an AR-15 copy, and not the bullpup design. I was allowed to register it then. They did not give me any trouble for wanting to register firearms that were not on the first list. When Round Two happened, I was covered. I missed Round Three. It didn’t seem to get any publicity, and I knew nothing about it until I looked on the web to find information about registering my Springfield SAR-8 (HK-91 copy) which I had bought legally from a gun store before Clinton signed the federal ban, and which has never been fired. I found out that I had been in violation for a couple of years. :eek: I removed it from the state at my first opportunity, and kept it at a friend’s house until I moved here.

Erm… Which is not to imply that any of my guns were bought illegally. All of them were bought legally, and I have the original store receipts for all but the oldest ones.

Well, the ATF regulary confiscates guns. In fact, they will confiscate an entire collection if they have some evidence one of the weapons is illegal.